Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, Jan. 14 2021


January 14th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:50 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot was worth at least $550 million and grew to an estimated $640 million without a winner. Numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball were: 4-19-23-25-49 and a Powerball of 14, with the next drawing Saturday. The Powerball prize drawing was only a day after no one won a $625 million Mega Millions jackpot, causing that prize to grow to $750 million ahead the next drawing on Friday night. It’s been months since anyone has matched all six numbers and won either jackpot. The odds of winning jackpots are 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and one in 302.5 million for Mega Millions. Both games are played in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man has been charged with first-degree murder in a New Year’s shooting that left one person dead and three other people injured. Christopher Morales was charged Wednesday in the death of 18-year-old Mia Kritis. Prosecutors say Morales forced a person to go into the home where a New Year’s party was being held. He and others than allegedly fired at least 27 shots shots into the house, killing Kritis and wounding three juveniles. Morales also was charged with going armed with intent and three counts of reckless use of a firearm. He is being held on $1 million bond.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man with extensive experience as a federal prosecutor will be acting U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Iowa. Richard Westphal will replace Marc Krickbaum, who resigned last week. U.S. Justice officials announced that Westphal will serve until Nov. 16, or until the new administration of President Joe Biden selects another nominee before then. Westphal has been an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District since June 1997. He is a native of Iowa and earned his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1990. Southern District hold courts in Davenport, Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen says the coronavirus pandemic forced the court system to enact two shutdowns of jury trials and institute remote hearings, but she is determined to resume in-person trials in February. Giving the annual Condition of the Judiciary speech to the Iowa Legislature on Wednesday, Christensen said judiciary officials worked to balance the need to keep people safe with a commitment to conduct court business. She spoke on a day that Iowa reported 10 additional deaths, raising the state total to 4,232. Virus spread is increasing again. The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate has climbed 39% since Dec. 29.